State Rep. John Crawford delivered the keynote speech and read the names of those honored as family members or officers placed roses at the base of the Kingsport Police Department Law Enforcement Memorial and Eternal Flame, located on the corner of West Market and Clay Streets in downtown Kingsport. Crawford, a lifelong advocate of law enforcement, has nearly two decades of service as a Reserve Officer with the Kingsport Police Department, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.
The Burgess-Mills Lodge 11 is named in honor of two of the Kingsport Police Department’s fallen officers, Patrolman Ira H. Burgess and Patrolman John E. Mills, who were tragically shot and killed in the line of duty in 1950 and 1940, respectively.
Today, membership in the Burgess-Mills Lodge 11 is open to officers of the Kingsport Police Department, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office and the Scott County, Va., Sheriff’s Office — and its annual memorial service honors and remembers fallen officers from each of those agencies.
Roll call of officers remembered
Kingsport Police Department: J.M.Carmack; Hubert Webb; John Smith; George Frazier; John E. Mills; Ira Burgess.
Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office: Lee Eldreth; Bruce Barker; Arthur Lane; Glayton Parker; Steve Mullins, Roscoe Bob Teague; Steve Riner; Barry Shelton; Robert Bowlin.
Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office: Drew Harrell; John Wesley Wright; Gerald Gibson.
Scott County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office: Benjamin Sluss Scott; I.M. Skeens.